Just ran some water parameter tests...
- pH - 7.2-7.6
- Ammonia - <0.25 ppm
- Nitrite - 0 ppm
- Nitrate - <5.0 ppm
I tried to test my GH and KH using my API test kits, but I could never see the color change that was referenced to in the instructions. My 5ml of tank water turned dark blue immediately and never budged even after 20 drops of the KH test solution. I had the same misery with the GH test kit. This is the second one of these kits that I've purchased over the years and I've never had any luck reading GH nor KH...
Some of my crypts are starting to melt. I've read that this is somewhat normal activity for newly planted crypts. Here are some shots of the crypts. Some of the melting is pretty obvious, some isn't. I'm assuming that it'll happen and, if I am lucky, the plants will regrow...
Sorry about the poor photographs. All I have is my iPhone, and I'm not going to be spending any big money for a fancy camera anytime soon! Maybe one of these days....
Anyhow, I'm pretty pleased with the progress of this tank so far. I called aquariumplants.com today and confirmed that my order will be shipped tomorrow morning with an ETA of this Friday. I'm glad that my package is actually going to be shipped, but it sure seems like a lot more than the 2nd day air that I paid for!
Sadly, my heater is still leaking. Luckily, however, the leak is very minor. I put a cup under the heater today to catch the droplets. In the 10 hours that I was away, I caught just about one full tablespoon's worth of water. I'm not happy that I have a leak, but I can live with this minor leak for now. I'll have to wait for my next pay check before I can afford to spend anything more on this tank (As my wife keeps reminding me)! I'm just going to order a new hydor 200w in-line heater.
I also just noticed that I have at least one good sized pond snail making its way across the back glass. I'm sure that I'll have an entire colony by the end of the month. Sounds like a loach is in order once this tank has sufficiently cycled.
Speaking of that, my water parameter readings above indicate that I have an obvious lack of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate in the tank. I've been adding fish food daily to add ammonia to the water column. I'm not sure if my readings are an indication of a thriving bacteria colony or if they are evidence of a lack of a nitrogen cycle. I used the same filter and media that I had for over a year with my MTS "swamp". I'm guessing that I probably have a healthy bacteria colony in my canister!
In the process of re-organizing the garage, I discovered my old plastic storage tub filled with aquarium stuff. Now I have access to my old CO2 drop checker. All I need now is to make some 4 dKH solution and I'll be able to visually see where my CO2 levels are!!
I'm so sorry for the novel that I just wrote! I'm just VERY long winded when it comes to this thread.
Thanks for reading,